Trinity Lutheran Church

Records show that on April 20, 1890, an organizational meeting was held in the Congregational Church in Cooperstown, Pastor O. K. Kvamme serving as chairman, R. Nelson as secretary. It was indicated that they be called the "Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Congregation in Cooperstown, Griggs County, North Dakota." A constitution was adopted, and O. K. Kvamme was asked to serve as pastor. An annual meeting was held December 20, 1890, and three families were admitted to membership. Henry Haugen was secretary at this meeting.

At the time the church was organized, fifteen families (56 souls made up the congregation: Nicolaus August Aagreen, Severin Almklov, Anders Gustav Anderson, Rollef Berg, Ragnar Biorn, Anton Enger, Steen C. Gunderson, Soren Hagen, Karimus Hegge, Claus Jackson, Iver Jacobson, John Johnson, Nils Nilson Kiel, Martin Lee, Hans O. Lien.

By 1895 Cooperstown had grown considerably and a meeting was held March 16, 1895 to reorganize the church on a firmer foundation. Peter E. Nelson, S. C. Gunderson and R. J. Biorn made a survey, and a new constitution was formulated by P. A. Melgaard and J. E. Johnson. On June 11, a meeting was called with J. E. Johnson a student at the Seminary, to be pastor for $500 a year, with the stipulation that he be given every third Sunday off for outside mission work. On July 19, 1895, Pastor Silness became the pastor. It was decided to incorporate under the state laws of North Dakota, and to alternate services in English and Norwegian.

A committee of three men and two women was to make a survey of how much money could be raised for building a church. By December 10, 1895, $2,073 was raised. So the northern half of block 62 was bought for $100. The church was finished November 6, 1896. J. E. Johnson offered to do the janitor work free of charge, and acted as superintendent of the Sunday School. Sarah Anderson became the first organist. The church was dedicated on May 14, 1903, and the property was valued at $4000.00. Mrs. Lewis Berg was elected delegate to the Sybodical Conference. Mrs. Carl Scott and Mrs. Melgaard. chose the first communion set. A resolution of thanks was drawn up: "being indebted to the good will, kindness and response of H. P. Hammer for an altar, A. H. Berg, Lewis Berg, Eric Erickson and John E. Johnson for pews, John Syverson for interior decoration, and the Ladies Aid Society for a bell." Rev. J. N. Jensen was called in 1905 to serve for $600. Ottawa and Binford churches were added to the call.

Electric lights were installed in 1907 and the basement dug in 1909.

Rev. Sweger served from 1912 'until 1920. The parsonage was built in 1913 for $4000. In 1915 the pipe organ was installed. Beginning in 1919, the minutes of the congregation were written in English.

Rev. . H. Estrem served from 1920 to 1928. He served Cooperstown and Ringsaker. Rev. I. O. Jacobson of Dazey accepted a call from the congregation in 1931 and served until 1938. Glenfield and Sutton joined Cooperstown parish in 1938.

Dr. P. H. Holm-Jensen came to Cooperstown in 1939 from Luverne, North Dakota and served for two years. B. Schroeder, a retired missionary from Madagascar, filled in for about a year until we secured the services of Rev. H. J. Hanson, who was pastor from 1943 to 1947. Pastor C. M. Rasmussen was pastor from 1947 to 1954, and the present pastor is A. P. Tidemann.

Trinity Lutheran is constructing a $200,000 modified Gothic brick church. Using all facilities it will seat about 650. An educational unit contains 22 classrooms. Offices, social rooms are also included. The membership of the congregation is now 774 baptized members. The Sunday School has almost 250 pupils.

Present officers are: Trustees: Melvin Larson, C. S. Arneson, Vernon Kirkeby, Henry Urness, Ernest Wold. Deacons: Donald Retzlaff, Oscar Tang, Marie Kittelson, Ruth Fredrickson, C. Pramhus. Secretary: Gilman Olson. Treasurer: Clarence Sandvik. Financial Secretary Merland Carlson.

Organization officers: Presidents

Ladies Aid      Mrs. H. C. Burk

Lutheran Brotherhood  Donald Retzlaff

Lutheran Daughters      Selma Helland

Senior Luther League  Shirley Savre

Junior Luther League   James Larson

Organist: Lise Johnson, Custodian: Martin Opheim, Choir Directors: Senior Della Quam, Junior: Margaret Solberg, Children's: Marge Lee.

Sunday School Superintendents:

Junior Department Mrs. Robert Mack

Senior Department Mrs. Given Brown

High School Department Mrs. G. E. Appel

Board of Parish Education:

G. E. Appel, Mrs. Norman Askelson, Mrs. Archie Marson.

Building Committee:

H. W. Hildre, Norman Askelson, W. C. Haerter, Eldred Savre, and Arnold Stokkeland, and the Board of Trustees.

Trinity Lutheran Ladies Aid was organized November 1, 1888 with Mrs. Julius Stevens the first president, Mrs. P. A. Melgard, secretary; and Mrs. Signor Rice treasurer. The Aid bought the first church organ used in Trinity Lutheran church, the communion set, hymn books, choir gowns, the church bell, redecorated the church and parsonage, and has made generous contributions to Home and Foreign Missions. Present officers are:

President: Mrs. H. C. Burk

1st Vice President Mrs. Herman Solfield

2nd Vice President Mrs. Russet Edland

Secretary         Mrs. Lyle Bender

Treas.              Mrs. Ed Reiten

Secretary         Mrs. Ken Ellingson

Source:  Cooperstown Diamond Jubilee 1882-1957 Page 26

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